2020 presented the globe with many unprecedented challenges and the whole world has had to adapt on the fly. The NHL was no exception. After postponing the 2019-20 season in March for several months, the organizing body for the NHL devised a plan to continue with the Playoff Finals by creating two “Bubbles”; one in Toronto at the Scotia Bank Arena, and one in Edmonton at Rogers Place.
With strict Covid-19 protocols in place; players, coaches, announcers & media technicians had to remain within their “bubble”, and most importantly, no spectators could be in the facilities at all. This created a unique problem with thousands of unoccupied seats, which from a broadcasting standpoint, is not a very stimulating “playoff ambiance.”
NHL brand partner, Infinite Scale, developed a simple graphic treatment for all empty, broadcast-visible seats, ultimately covering the entirety of each arena’s lower bowls of seating. With just 10 days before the first Stanley Cup Qualifier games in Edmonton, the Cowan team was tasked with designing, fabricating, and installing a structure system to support and effectively display 24 sections of, on average, 750sq/ft of visible graphic material.
Frames were constructed and installed along each section of seats, where-upon the printed fabric banners were stretched taut to display a continuous TV-friendly, NHL-style Playoff graphic around the entire ice surface. The result was a cohesive, smooth surface of branded graphics, totally eliminating the notion of empty seats in the arenas which made for a very unique TV viewing experience.
While we were (mostly) cheering for the Oilers, we are very happy to congratulate the Tampa Bay Lightning on their 2020 Stanley Cup! That was quite a ride in both Hockey Hubs!
It was truly an honour to partner with the NHL, Infinite Scale, and Rogers Place on this exciting post season endeavour. There are a “few” hockey fans who would agree as well!
We look forward to and cherish our continued relationships with all the aforementioned organizations and sincerely hope for a safe, happy & healthy future for all fans at home and abroad. We’ll get back in the arenas soon enough!
NHL Senior EVP and Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer gives a behind-the-scenes account of the Rogers Place design process. #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/4Dc8Tsw5T5
— NHL (@NHL) July 28, 2020